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Old August 20th, 2016, 07:40 AM   #1

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German ww2 recruitment Lower Styria


The Third Reich won the April war against Yugoslavia in 1941. Afterwards, the area of Slovenia (then Drava banovina) was occupied between the Reich, Italy, Hungary and NDH Croatia. The Reich took the regions of Upper Carniola (added to Carinthia) and Lower Styria (added to Styria). In Lower Styria they recruited men for the Wehrmacht and other services, often with force and threat. The nazis planned to merge the taken regions of Upper Carniola and Lower Styria directly with the Reich, only they never did due to the emerging local resistance, so it should wait until after the war. This makes the recruitment of Slovenes from these regions a war crime. Some of the recruited men rather fled to the woods and joined the partisans, others couldn't out of fear of retaliation against their families. So they were shiped to various fronts, often to the East, where they surrendered to Russians or were saved by the knowledge of Slovene when they were captured.

My question is, in which units these men would serve? I couldn't find any specific units being mentioned in the books I have, nor I really know where to find more info elsewhere. In question are the men recruited from Untersteiermark, the circles of Marburg (an der Drau) and especially Cilli (an der Sann).

I have heard various stories from relatives of the recruited men. One I knew myself as a kid, but I never asked him anything about the war when he was still alive. Another one was my relative, who was captured by the Soviets on the Eastern Front, I know little about him. The grandfather of a mate was in the Afrika Korps and the great grandfather of my former schoolmate was a Gebirgsjäger. I even saw his uniform once, but didn't remember the patches on it, so I couldn't identify the exact unit.

Any help would be apreciated.

Last edited by Shtajerc; August 20th, 2016 at 07:45 AM.
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Old August 21st, 2016, 03:35 AM   #2

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Noone?
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Old August 22nd, 2016, 07:33 AM   #3

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Cmon, what's with all the ww2 Germany experts here, is there really noone to help me?
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Old August 22nd, 2016, 02:22 PM   #4

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Can't help you Shtajerc. A friend of mine has a Slovenian father and has on occasions said that the men in his father's region were considered Germans and drafted into the German army. His father and brother ran away. Maybe there were no Slovenian units to track? Could they have been considered part of Croatian forces?
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Old August 22nd, 2016, 03:02 PM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by motorbike View Post
Can't help you Shtajerc. A friend of mine has a Slovenian father and has on occasions said that the men in his father's region were considered Germans and drafted into the German army. His father and brother ran away. Maybe there were no Slovenian units to track? Could they have been considered part of Croatian forces?
In the Reich they pread the "Windische theory", saying that Slovenes in Carinthia and Styria are actually Windische, not Slovenes, and actually of a stock that is related to Germanics, but has fallen under Slavic influence over the centuries. They mostly based that on the dialects of those regions, which used to (and still do) incorporate huge amounts of German origin words. "Windisch" was originally simply the German name for Slovenes and our language, which was replaced by Slowenen and slowenisch in the 19th century. Ideology found a way to corrupt that too, of course linguists and other experts know it's BS.

I didn't think there were any speciffic Slovene units to start with, they'd never trust our men to form whole units, the majority wasn't that pro-German. My question was whether it is known in to which units these men would usually be sent. I know of a SS unit that had a bigger amount of Slovenes in it (not majority). From the people I know about, they were manned to various units. Like I said, one was in the Afrika Korps, another was a Gebirgsjäger, infantry etc etc. I thought perhaps it was possible to find out if there were specific units these men were given to or was it just random. Some acted as local police units, I forgot their specific name, but I was more interested in the Wehrmacht in this case.

They sure would not be part of the Croatian forces, either ustaše, legije, domobrani or whatever else there was. Croatia only occupied cca 4 or 5 Slovene villages at the border (noone even talks about this occupation) that were given back after the war anyway. I only know of recruited Slovenes in Lower Styria (and Carinthia, which was already part of Austria before). I don't know what was the case in Upper Carniola though. In the last years of the war partisan action was so big already that they couldn't recruit anymore anyway, so we're talking only about 1942 and I think 1943, not comletely sure though, I would have to check. I have the figure of roughly 20.000 Lower Styrians in my head, again, don't take my word on it, as I have to check the exact number and whether that was 1942 only or combined.
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